Our full-size/full-performance Spitfire uses a combination of two well-proven construction
techniques. Fuselage bulkhead frames, wing and tail ribs, spars, and beams utilize classic
aircraft spruce and plywood design.
Four massive main fuselage beams handle the loads for the big V-12 and tie together the
engine, fuselage, and wing mounting into one solid structure.
18 spruce and plywood fuselage frames form the Spitfire's fuselage curves.
19 built-up spruce truss style ribs, and two massive laminated Douglas fir/plywood
spars in each wing provide a trustworthy wing structure that's appropriate for the power
and speed of the Spitfire.
The beautiful rounded shape of the Spitfire's fuselage is built with the 'ply-balsa-ply' sandwich
skin construction used so successfully on another classic British WWII design, the Mosquito. These
sandwich skins add tremendous stiffness and strength, yet offer low weight. The skins are
comprised of a 1/4" vertical grain balsa core with 1/16"birch plywood skins bonded to both sides.
A clever method of building the sandwich skin in place on the aircraft
eliminates the need to build large molds or fixtures. The sandwich skins eliminate the sagging
or 'rippled' look found on many thin plywood-skinned aircraft and provide a very smooth finish
The use of both classic construction methods and the wood sandwich skins result in an aircraft
that is two thousand pounds (a ton) lighter than the original Spitfire
Mk, IX, yet is stressed to 10G ultimate load. At 2,000 pounds lighter with the 1200
horsepower Allison V-12, the SAC Spitfire will easily outperform any original MK, IX you happen
to fly. Your acceleration and rate of climb, will be nothing short of
breath taking. Turning
performance, maneuverability, low speed handling, and balanced field length will be noticeably
better than a metal Spitfire.